What an amazing way to end a great summer!
What began as a rushed and harried July ended with a relaxed and heart-felt August. I’m pretty impressed with the way this summer has turned out.
In July, the boys and I rushed to get summer started – town fair, sleepovers, family visits, and our trip to Philadelphia consumed the first three weeks. But then it all seemed to slow down as we prepared for the one trip that I was looking forward to the most.
We hit the highway early and headed to Manitoba in hopes of spending time with family before the festivities began.
It was a relatively short 6 hour drive considering how excited we all were to see everyone again. It was the first time the entire family has been together for many years. As soon as we pulled into the hotel parking lot, the clouds threatened rain but there was no way they could damper our mood.
We got settled into the hotel room and the party had begun. Luckily, the “party room” wasn’t in our room this year and I had a safe place to retire when I needed some down-time.
Family dinner, a few drinks, and a lot of chatter ended the night early as we prepared for the wedding the following day.
The next afternoon, we made our way to the church, where almost the entire clan hovered around the front entrance. Smiles were abundant, love lit us up like Christmas trees, and everyone seemed so happy to be back together after almost three years apart.
Lil Man had a fabulous time with his new “friends” – little did he realize that we are all one big happy family! With glow-sticks galore, the kids were kept busy and all of them seemed to be on their best behavior. There were so many kids and so many smiling faces that it was hard not to be affected.
The kids have grown and changed so much that it’s like piecing together a puzzle every time we visit. I’m always so grateful to be part of this generation of the family.
Near the end of the night, it was time to disperse and it was a quiet ride back to the hotel. Everyone was tired but satisfied with the way the day had played out. The bride was beautiful, the dinner was delicious, and everyone wore their biggest smiles.
It was a tough morning for some due to a self-inflicted late night, but everyone was safely back at the hotel and we all spent more time together before some had to leave. There were lots of hugs and plenty of promises to get together again.
It’s always hard for me to leave the family in Manitoba because I always feel so welcomed and loved when we’re there. I miss them dearly when we are all consumed with daily lives. More than once, I’ve considered the idea of moving there, but, as the Hubster and I concluded, there aren’t many job opportunities for him in that area. The only thing that keeps me optimistic is knowing that we’ll all be together again soon.
I love this family with all my heart and with every breath I take. I have never felt as accepted and appreciated as I do when I’m with them. Maybe I should consider making this an annual event…hmmm…
For now, onward and upward. As we drove into the city, that beautiful sign welcomed me back to my real home.
And now the organization/scheduling/planning truly begins as I prepare for the start of school, power skating, and hockey season. Between Hubster’s coaching, Lil Man’s playing, and my writing, hockey is about to consume our lives for another season.
Let the games begin!